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12 Simple Garage Organization And Storage Ideas For Optimizing Your Space

Dominic LoBianco6-Minute Read
May 22, 2020

Do you have a problem with clutter or organization in your house? Even before the global pandemic, there was a noticeable trend of consumers spending more time at home than ever. With conveniences like streaming services, and food delivery, most people have all they need in their spaces.

However, considering the additional circumstances, it feels safe to say many individuals are spending more time at home than ever. The good news? Now you’ve got more time to tackle projects that you’ve been putting off, like new organization ideas.

Researchers at Princeton have found that individuals who are in a disorganized environment, surrounded by clutter, tend to be less productive and more distracted.

And with the growing trends of tidiness and minimalism taking hold, now is a good time to get organized.

While you may have addressed some rooms in the house already (like your bedroom, or the kitchen), the garage is one area in your home easily susceptible to clutter, that many do not even consider. When you don’t have a place to put things, the garage becomes the quick and easy dumping ground. Out of sight, out of mind. But how do you organize your garage?

The problem is that there are so many things for outdoor use, and they all need to be stored somewhere. How can you keep everything neat and organized so you can find it all, rather than just piling things together at the end of a long day of enjoying the great outdoors? Below are several tips to help you with garage storage ideas:

Establish Traffic Zones

We've all heard the saying, a place for everything and everything in its place. This is the most important part of garage organization. If your things don’t have a dedicated space, you run the risk of falling back into a decluttered trap where everything is cast aside on the ground. With clutter lying around, you’re also creating a hazard for those around you.

In your garage you’ll want to have a separate area for each type of item. Typical things stored in a garage may include tools, gardening equipment, holiday decorations, outdoor toys, and trash bins, to name a few.

Before you begin, you may want to map out exactly where you plan on keeping each type of item. Because every garage space is a little different, it’s difficult to generate a uniform layout that applies across the board. So play with different ideas for your space. Map out bulky, or hard-to-store items first. Then move to the easier things that will fit in the remaining space. This will make it easier to put things where they belong as you set out to clean.

When creating specific zones for everything, keep items you will use with each other close together. For example, gardening tools would be kept well closer to things like lawn chemicals and fertilizer.

Items you use on a daily basis should be kept within reach and close to the door, while other things you’ll only use a few times a year, like holiday decorations, could be kept up high or in the back. In addition, if you’ll be storing bulkier items, such as a lawn mower or snowblower, these should be kept in the back corners of the garage so that you don’t inadvertently hit them with your car.

Maximize Storage Options

When considering how to arrange your items, there are many storage solutions available to make the process easier for you. The first thing you should do is consider how you would like to store your items. Are they things that would be better stored upright on a pegboard on the wall, or stored tucked away in a bin? What items in your garage take priority? Once you’ve mapped that out, you can consider your options for storage containers:

Bins 

Stackable clear plastic bins that have lids are the best bet when looking to store items such as smaller outdoor toys or holiday decorations. Having a clear bin lets you to see the items inside more easily. The lids will not only keep dust and mold out, but will also allow for easy stacking, leading to more storage space. The best attribute of bins is their versatility. They’re sturdy enough to serve as storage bases for other items, but not so bulky that they can’t be shelved up high and out of the way.

Towers

Storage towers are a great way to keep your plastic bins better organized, or to store bulkier items that may go along with something you’re storing in bins but don’t fit in them. If you’ve got unoccupied space in a corner, a storage tower is a great option, especially for smaller items that can be easily misplaced. Not only does the tower help with space, but it’s good for organization as well.

Shelves 

Open shelves allow for easy access, while those with doors will allow you to make your garage look tidier by hiding any disorganized mess that may lurk inside. Which you choose is completely up to you.

Pegboards And Hooks

This easy-to-install system can be cut to any size you need and painted any color for customization. Placed right on the walls of your garage, pegboards are great for larger items that you need to have readily available, like rakes and shovels.

Canvas Bags

Another storage option, canvas bags are great for things like sports equipment and can be easily placed in shelving units or towers to keep them out of the way and better organized.

Take A Two-Birds-One-Stone Approach

Multipurpose storage solutions like wall shelving units exist that also have pegboards right underneath them. These units allow for an easier way to store lots of different types of items that will all be used together. One of the suggestions above isn’t going to solve your clutter problem. However, the right combination that appeals to your garage layout, and the items you own, can overhaul your entire setup.

Make The Most Of The Walls

This is a great way to keep your larger items like rakes and shovels off the ground. Storing things off the ground will help ensure they don’t get ruined by mold or chewed on by a stray animal that found its way into your garage. Use pegboards to get more out of your wall space, and hooks to keep your garage floor walkway hazard-free, while also preserving the life of your tools along the way.

Use The Ceiling

Another great idea is to create storage space on the ceiling. Store rarely used or bulky items up here since it will be more difficult to get them down when you need them. Some examples of useful ceiling storage are outdoor seasonal items like kayaks or mountain bikes. Ceiling storage will give you more space and allow you to store even more items. The ceiling is also a great place to store a ladder.

Dedicated Workstation

A workbench in your garage will be a great asset when it comes to any sort of handiwork you need done. Consider one that folds down from the wall if you don’t think you’ll be using it all the time, or you simply want it out of the way. If you’ve got the space, incorporating a workbench, pegboards, shelving, and storage towers provides you with the maximum organization for your bulky items like your tools, and smaller items like tape measures, drill bits, etc.

If this is your first step to becoming a DIY-er around the house, consider some baseline suggestions to add to your tool storage set: hammer, screwdriver (flat and Phillips head), socket wrench set, wireless drill with accompanying bits, several sets of pliers, channel-locks, vice grips, duct tape/zip ties, and an LED light. That should be sufficient enough to tackle tasks around the house, and get you started. However, most do-it-yourselfers are constantly adding to their arsenal.

Thinking Outside The Garage

If you find you simply have too many items to store in your garage, you may want to look into other areas of the home. Many homes have alternative storage solutions like sheds, basements, or patios.

A basement workbench is a strong solution if your garage is too small. Just make sure you have easy access to and from your space to avoid too many trips. If that’s not conducive, many people build workbenches outside in backyards or on patios. Don’t be afraid to mount bulky items outside either. Things like ladders can be stored outside without suffering too much weathering.

Whatever you choose to do, a garage that is neat and tidy will only help you in the long run. You’ll be able to better find what you are looking for, and you may actually be able to fit your car inside as well!

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re trying to maximize your storage or go all-out with a garage overhaul, these solutions can help you out. Don’t forget to check out more homeowner tips from Rocket Homes®.

Dominic LoBianco

The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.